CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry native LaChan Wilson lost her vision after a recent COVID-19 infection.
She was in the hospital for a little over a month, she said, and on the last week of her stay she woke up and couldn’t see out of her right eye. The vision in her left eye deteriorated as well.
Wilson was diagnosed with optic neuropathy, meaning the blood supply to her optic nerves was cut off.
Feeling scared and alone facing new challenges she never expected, Wilson was referred to the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of South Carolina (ABVI).
“They have totally changed my life… I always say ABVI saved my life” Wilson said. “If it wasn’t for what I’ve gained from … [ABVI] … I don’t know where I would be.”
CEO and President Courtney Plotner says that Wilson is not alone. Roughly 15,000 adults in the tri-county area are visually impaired. Plotner says that the mission of ABVI is “helping people learn to love who they are and be independent despite their vision loss.”
Teaching those with vision loss adaptive skills helps them regain a sense of self, and being around others facing the same challenges “brings a sense of hope.”
Wilson says that in addition to hope, she has found happiness and a sense of purpose at ABVI.
ABVI celebrated 85 years of service this year.